Song of the Day: Pierre Bensusan, “Silent Passenger”

One of the more unusual guitar books I bought (in the days when I was buying guitar books) was a book by the French-Algerian fingerstyle guitarist Pierre Bensusan. There were a lot of songs from his albums (which I couldn’t find in any of the record stores in Atlanta), but he included photos he had taken, prose and poetry he had written, and even a few recipes, none of which particularly appealed to me. I kept the book and occasionally would try one of the songs from it, but having no idea what the songs were supposed to sound like (and being a really lousy sight reader, for which tablature only goes so far in helping you play the song) it would just frustrate me.

When (thanks to the Internet and YouTube) I was finally able to hear his work, I was fascinated by it. Nowhere near as flamboyant as Michael Hedges, his music is quite peaceful, a combination of Celtic, world, folk, New Age, and Chamber Jazz. He uses the DADGAD tuning (one of the more popular alternate tunings) on practically all his songs, which makes the notes flow a little more easily for his type of music. In this performance of his song “Silent Passenger,” recorded at Ireland’s National Concert Hall in 2014, he’s using a brand-new Lowden guitar.

8 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Pierre Bensusan, “Silent Passenger”

  1. Yep, very smooth. I remember trying to hunt high and low for records and dvds pre-internet, too. I used to have to stock up on French stuff when I visited, ‘cos there was no way I’d find it back home.

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